For those of us who have been blessed with access to clean water, nutritious food, and healthy living conditions, we don’t encounter illnesses as often as those living in extreme poverty. And, even when we are faced with major health issues, we know quality healthcare is readily available. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case for poverty-stricken families living in developing countries like Peru. Thankfully, Friends of Chimbote supports a number of healthcare programs, as well as a dental clinic, that are available to all residents living in the mission barrios regardless of their ability to pay.
Santa Ana Medical & Dental Clinic
Recognizing that children can not study and adults can not work if they are ill, our mission partners with the Peruvian Ministry of Health to provide medical services to the people living in the poverty-stricken barrios that we serve. At the Santa Ana Medical & Dental Clinic, prenatal care, child wellness exams, basic dental care, immunizations, and treatment of acute and chronic conditions is provided by doctors, nurses, and dentists. To access better healthcare, mission staff have helped hundreds of local residents sign up for Sistema Integral de Salud (SIS) a program created by the Peruvian government to cover basic healthcare services for people living in extreme poverty. The medical post also offers seminars to help families learn how to provide better nutrition, prevent food- and water-borne diseases, and how to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illness.
Physical Rehabilitation Center
The mission’s Physical Rehab Center offers a variety of services for local residents of all ages providing massage, exercises, and physical therapy to patients with a multitude of physical ailments. Much of the equipment used in the center was donated through the container program. The poor who access the center are grateful for the opportunity since they are unable to afford similar services from private centers in other areas of Chimbote.
South America’s First-known Hospice
In 2005, Friends of Chimbote was honored to provide financing for the construction of and operational costs for the first-known hospice program in South America, which offers both home visits and an inpatient facility to provide comfort and pain relief for those enduring terminal health problems. In 2014, The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX became our partner and assumed administrative oversight of the hospice program. Today, Friends of Chimbote continues to provide financial support to the Chimbote hospice program that serves the entire Chimbote community allowing all people, regardless of their financial status, to live out the end of their lives with dignity.
Additional Medical Services
In addition to the services provided by the Santa Ana Medical and Dental Clinic, the Santa Ana Clinic refers patients to the Maternidad de Maria Hospital and the La Caleta Public Hospital in Chimbote for specialized testing, surgeries, and obstetrical services for the poor.
Assistance and support also comes from medical students and volunteers. For several years, fourth-year medical students from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine spend several weeks in Chimbote as part of an elective in International & Developing Nation Medicine. In addition we regularly welcome the volunteer services of dentists, nurses, and physicians as well as medical groups. Dentists provide much-needed basic dental services and doctors provide specialized areas of medical care and surgery that is not typically available to the poor of Chimbote. Learn more about volunteer opportunities in Chimbote.